A $130 million plan to upgrade and modernize Votorantim’s Great Lakes cement production could materialize in Charlevoix, Mich., reported the Boyne City Gazette.

Marty Fallon, chief executive of Votorantim Cement North America/St Marys Cement, along with company spokesman Cortney Schmidt, other company officials and local economic development experts presented their potential project at the Jan. 12 Charlevoix Township Board of Trustees meeting.

“We’re looking at possibly investing approximately $130 million into the Charlevoix community,” said Schmidt. “In that process we feel, to put that into motion, we would need to employ 200 to 300 full-time employees to do the building of it with outside contractors … and we anticipate that it would take over two years.”
He added, “Then, after that, we would be looking at needing an additional 10 full-time employees added to current staff.”

The modernization and expansion of production is necessary, Schmidt said, because the market for cement has begun to bounce back after a six-year lull. Schmidt also said he has no idea what it would cost to get the Dixon, Ill., plant back up and running.

“In approximately 2008, the market tanked considerably,” stated Schmidt. “All this will basically do is allow us to manufacture cement more effectively while lowering our emissions and meeting market demands.”

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